I'm not sure if that was extensively tested, as most of the forum is about BH methods. I've just noticed that I'm able to rank the site on some keywords by dropping every kind of Google service on the site only. Recently, I put two sites - the first wasn't touched by any of Google service (webmaster tools, adsense, analytics, wasn't submitted to Google), but I did some manual quality backlinking. The second wasn't backlinked at all, but has all of Google services on site. In both cases content is relatively unique (but doesn't pass Copyscape), fresh (published within last two weeks) and short (5-6 x 200 words articles). The niches are a bit different so it's harder to compare, but I'm ranking higher with Google's services on site without backlinking, than the opposite. Of course that might change later on, but I just wonder if anybody else observed similar pattern? I have a few theories why that happens (Google trusts sites that it knows a lot about, for example), but I'm more interested if it occurs often enough one can actually rely on it.